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Dr. Mark J, Russo is Professor of Surgery, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and Director of Structural Heart Disease at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  He is an internationally-known expert in the treatment of heart valve disease.  He is one of the few heart doctors in the United States skilled at open, minimally-invasive, and catheter-based cardiac therapies.

Throughout his career, Dr. Russo has been an early adopter of disruptive medical technology, including minimally invasive and catheter-based cardiovascular therapies, advanced cardiac imaging, artificial intelligence, remote patient monitoring,  digital patient engagement, and same day discharge after valve procedures.  He is among the most experienced transcatheter surgeons in the U.S and taught these novel procedures to physicians throughout the world. In addition, he has participated in 500+ successful organ transplants and authored more than 50 publications on organ transplantation. Dr. Russo is a thought leader in minimalist and rapid recovery strategies. designed to minimize pain, minimize hospital stay, and achieve the fastest possible recovery for patients after heart surgery.

Dr. Russo has coauthored more than 200 published manuscripts, abstracts, and textbook chapters.  Dr. Russo served in leadership roles for numerous national and international clinical trials, including the landmark PARTNER3 trial. The findings of his work have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Lancet, the Journals of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and Circulation.

Dr. Russo’s research has guided significant changes in national health care policy including the United Network for Organ Sharing’s (UNOS) change in heart and lung allocation for transplantation and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) National Coverage Decision on TAVR.  The findings of his work have appeared in major media outlets including US News and World Report, the New York Times, Newsweek, ABC News, and CBC.  Dr. Russo has appeared in PBS’ On Call: Health and Medicine, ESPN’s  Outside the Lines, and  The Surgeons: Life and Death in a Top Heart Center By Charles R. Morris.

For his work, Dr. Russo has received awards from leading scientific and professional organizations:

  • 2021 Top Doc, New Jersey Magazine
  • 2016 Nominee, New Jersey Physician of the Year NJBIZ
  • 2016 Healthcare Hero Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • 2012 President’s Award, Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • 2012 Young Investigator Research Award, Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education
  • 2012 Circulation’s Most Important Papers
  • 2010 Benson R. Wilcox Research Award, Thoracic Surgery Directors Association/Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • 2008 Young Investigator Award, European Society of Cardiology
  • 2008 Blakemore Prize, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
  • 2006 Quality of Care and Outcomes Fellow American Heart Association
  • 2002 Dean’s Award, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • 2000 Top Prize, Health Policy Research Category, National Institutes of Health‐Association of American Medical Colleges Research Session
  • 1997 Commencement Marshal, Class of 1997, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Rochester

Dr. Russo serves on the Physician Advisory Boards for leading medical device companies.  In addition, he  serves as a consultant to a number of early-stage companies, angel groups, venture capital firms, and hedge funds.

Previously, Dr. Russo was Assistant Attending-in-Cardiothoracic-Surgery at New York/ Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia, and Co-Director of the Aortic Center, Director of Cardiac Surgery Research, and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.  

Dr. Russo is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.  He received a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Rochester; a Master’s in outcomes research from Dartmouth College; and his Medical Doctorate from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed residencies in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Columbia University Medical Center. He also completed Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships at Columbia University and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute within the National Institutes of Health

Dr. Russo is a Diplomate of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS); a member of the STS and American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS); a Board member for the patient advocacy group, Heart Valve Voice; and one of only 65 surgeons in the world with membership in the prestigious 21st Century Cardiothoracic Surgical Society.

Clinical Trial Evaluates Minimally Invasive Treatment of Severe Heart Valve Disorder – Newswise https://www.newswise.com/articles/clinical-trial-evaluates-minimally-invasive-treatment-of-severe-heart-valve-disorder

N.J.’s Top Doctors: Meet the first-rate physicians who lead us to wellness in 2021

N.J.’s Top Doctors: Meet the first-rate physicians who lead us to wellness in 2021

Vast Numbers of Severe Symptomatic AS Patients Untreated? A Plea and Some Pushback – TCTMD – Jun 2019 https://www.tctmd.com/news/vast-numbers-severe-symptomatic-patients-untreated-plea-and-some-pushback
Dr. Partho Sengupta Joins Cardiovascular Service Line Team at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – Newswise https://www.newswise.com/articles/dr-partho-sengupta-joins-cardio-and-thoracic-services-team-at-robert-wood-johnson-university-hospital-and-rutgers-robert-wood-johnson-medical-school
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) (CAG-00430R) – CMS https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/view/ncacal-decision-memo.aspx?proposed=N&NCAId=293
RWJ University Hospital Pioneers Use of MitraClip G4 in New Jersey https://www.rwjbh.org/blog/2021/january/rwj-university-hospital-pioneers-use-of-mitracli/
Three RWJUH Patients Celebrate Successful Same-Day Discharge after Heart Valve Replacement Surgery https://www.rwjbh.org/blog/2020/june/three-rwjuh-patients-celebrate-successful-same-d/
A Safer Fix for Heart-Valve Problems: TAVR Tackles Aortic Valve Stenosis in the Elderly https://www.rwjbh.org/blog/2018/april/a-safer-fix-for-heart-valve-problems-tavr-tackle/
78-Year Old Celebrates Renewed Health and Hope After Minimally Invasive Heart Procedure https://www.rwjbh.org/blog/2018/february/78-year-old-celebrates-renewed-health-and-hope-a/

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Completes First JenaValve Procedure to Treat Aortic Regurgitation


Surgical Risk Should Be ‘Off the Table’ When Deciding on Eligibility for TAVR – TCTMD – Jun 2019 https://www.tctmd.com/news/surgical-risk-should-be-table-when-deciding-eligibility-tavr
To Intervene or Not to Intervene When the TAVR Patient Has CAD: New Insights https://www.tctmd.com/news/intervene-or-not-intervene-when-tavr-patient-has-cad-new-insights
TAVR is superior to surgery for low-risk patients with aortic valve stenosis https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190317150419.htm
High-Quality TAVR: Does a Minimum Volume Requirement Still Make Sense? https://www.tctmd.com/news/high-quality-tavr-does-minimum-volume-requirement-still-make-sense
A matter of time
A Matter of Time
Severity Of Diabetes Is Key Determinant Of Heart Transplant Success https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061107082843.htm




Mark Russo – A New Allocation Model for Lung Transplantation




Expanded TAVR indications


Miracle in New Brunswick: Heart Transplant Recipient Goes Home


Understanding Pumphead After Heart Valve Surgery with Dr. Mark Russo



Vast Numbers of Severe Symptomatic AS Patients Untreated?  – TCTMD – Jun 2019
This kind of problem marks a sea change for TAVR, Mark Russo, MD (Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ), noted.

Surgical Risk Should Be ‘Off the Table’ When Deciding on Eligibility for TAVR – TCTMD – Jun 2019
Mark Russo, MD (Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ), who led the screening committee for PARTNER 3, said the …

RWJBarnabas Health plays vital role in landmark cardiac study – Health Care Dive – Mar 2019

RWJMS Press Release – Mar 2019
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and RWJBarnabas Health are pleased to welcome Mark J. Russo, MD, as Chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

TAVR is superior to surgery for low-risk patients with aortic valve stenosis – Science Daily – 17 Mar 2019

Is There a Volume-Outcome Relationship With Newer TAVR Valves – TCTMD – 30 Jan 2019.  
… valves—Sapien, Sapien XT, and Sapien 3—researchers led by Mark Russo, MD (Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, …

Cardiovascular Business – 29 Jan 2019
Knowledge sharing, device improvements may shrink TAVR learning curve…
Lead author Mark J. Russo, MD, MS, and colleagues used the Transcatheter Valve Therapy (TVT) registry to study nearly 62,000 TAVR …

TAVR Learning Curve May Fade With Newer Device – MedPage Today – Jan 2019
… improvements in combined 30-day mortality or stroke, suggesting that the volume-outcomes relationship no longer held up, Mark Russo, MD, …

Balancing Outcomes & Access: Cardiologists Mull TAVR Volume Thresholds – Cardiovascular Business – 18 Nov 2018
Mark J. Russo, MD, MS, of RWJBarnabas Health in West Orange, N.J., points out there are about 1,100 sites in the U.S. that perform surgical …

High-Quality TAVR: Does a Minimum Volume Requirement Still Make Sense – TCTMD – 22 Jun 2018

​MendedHearts.com – September 2016

Press Release Apr 2016
NBI performs 2nd Low Risk TAVR in the US

USAToday Network Feb 2016
Less invasive tools are ‘redefining’ heart medicine

Morris Essex.  2015
A Better Heart Valve Fix

Morris Essex.  2015
​The Vigor is Back

Jan 2012
Dr. Russo receives the Presidents Award from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Mar 2012
​Dr. Russo receives 2012 Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education Research Award ​
Dr. Russo receives the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education Research Grant

Team effort key to first post-FDA approval TAVI case in Chicago

Lung transplant system often skips over those most in need

Univ of Chicago first in Chicago to perform post-trial transcatheter aortic valve replacement

Dr. Russo receives the Presidents Award from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons
STS News 

“Guidelines Suggested for Heart-Kidney Transplants: Study identifies factors that reduce survival rate for combo surgery” 
US News & World Report
ABC News

“Heart Failure Treatments Widen with Continuous-Flow Assist Devices”
Cardiovascular Business

“Diabetes should not rule out a heart transplant: Those with blood-sugar disorder do as well as others, study finds”

“Local and Regional Lung Allocation Systems Conflict”
Elsevier Global Medical

“The Combined Organ Effect”
Medscape News

“Diabetes no barrier to heart transplants: study”

“Lung Transplants Cut Some Patients Survival”
Surgery News

“Life Span Found Shorter for Low-Priority Lung Transplants”
Thoracic Surgery News  [NXTBook]

“Lung Transplants May Cut Life Span in Some”
Chest Physician
“Lung Transplants in Lower Priority Recipients May Decrease Life Span”
“Criteria Identified to Help Predict Survival Benefit From Combined Heart/Kidney Transplantation”
Medscape News

“Pretransplant Status Predicts Renal Failure in Heart Transplant Patients”
Medscape News 

“Adults with congenital heart disease have higher 30-day mortality with transplantation”

“Post-heart-transplant survival not compromised in the mildly obese, UNOS data suggests”
Medscape News

“Uncomplicated diabetes doesn’t shorten posttransplant survival, suggest UNOs data”

To schedule an in-person or telemedicine consultation with Dr. Russo,
please call 732-235-7231 or send an email